What if You Are Involved in a Car Accident While on a Road Trip
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Carson R. Runge with Sloan Firm.
In response to the COVID pandemic, many families are turning to road trips with their own household as a way of vacation rather than traditional amusement parks and other heavily populated areas. Road trips can be a great way to get out of the house, make memories, and see new things. However, when accidents occur on a road trip, it can be difficult to know how to handle the situation. With car accident laws varying from state to state, it can be difficult to know when, where, and how to approach a car accident settlement or lawsuit. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident while on a road trip, reach out to a car accident attorney in that state to discuss your options for recovery.
Out-of-state car accidents are unfortunately common.
Due to the long hours associated with road trips and the unfamiliar terrain, fatigued driving and unexpected hazards are a common problem for travelers. After driving for hours at a time, it’s easy for drivers and passengers to become tired or otherwise fail to concentrate actively on the road ahead. Unfamiliar environments can also present significant hazards; roads in cold environments may become slick and icy, whereas roads in humid or rainy environments might be wet. Mountain curves and long desert stretches in intense heat are all factors that can influence the relative safety of a vehicle on a road trip.
If you are injured in a car accident while traveling, contact an attorney in the state where the accident occurred.
This might not be immediately obvious, but due to the differences in car accident law from state to state, it’s important to find an attorney in the area where the accident occurred. These attorneys will likely have experience with accidents like your own and will know exactly what type of paperwork and deadlines apply to your case. While you can certainly contact an attorney in your home state as well, doing so will often require your in-state attorney to seek counsel from an attorney in the state of the accident as well.
The good news is that it does not cost more to hire a car accident attorney out of state.
Most personal injury attorneys, including those who handle car accidents, offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis; this means that a client does not pay for their services unless they win their case. A car accident case can be won by receiving a fair settlement from the insurance company or at-fault party, or by a successful verdict after trial. Damages in a car accident can be wide-ranging, varying from minor medical bills and lost wages to major bills, pain and suffering, and even lifecare expenses. It’s important to collect specific evidence after a car accident to ensure that these damages can be accurately recorded and easily proven.
It is easier for an attorney in the state where the accident occurred to access evidence.
Some evidence will need to be collected at the scene of the accident, including pictures of both vehicles, damaged property, contributing factors, as well as the contact information of anyone who witnessed or was involved in the accident. Ideally the injured party can collect these at the scene immediately after the accident, but if they are unable to do so, an attorney in the area can collect this on their behalf. Additionally, an attorney in the area might be able to collect local traffic coverage as well as footage from any security cameras in the area that might have caught the wreck on camera. It can be difficult for an out-of-state attorney to collect all of the pertinent evidence without finding another attorney in the area to do the work on their behalf.
To learn more about what to do after being involved in an accident while road-tripping, or for help filing a claim, reach out to a car accident attorney.